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Imperial Requiem: Four Royal Women and the Fall of the Age of Empires Paperback – August 20, 2012


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Paperback, August 20, 2012
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (August 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 147591749X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475917499
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #940,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Justin C. Vovk is the author of In Destiny's Hands: Five Tragic Rulers, Children of Maria Theresa. He is an independent journalist and historian who resides in Hamilton, Ontario.

More About the Author

Justin C. Vovk is an author and independent historian. He is the author of In Destiny's Hands: Five Tragic Rulers, Children of Maria Theresa. He is currently working towards his PhD in history, and resides in Ontario, Canada, with his family.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 94 customer reviews
This is a great book, well written and well documented.
workin' out and lovin' it
This is Justin Vovk's second effort, his first was a good chronicle of the family of Hapsburg Empress Maria Theresa.
Tom F
Yes, a great read for anyone who is interested in this eventful and fascinating period of European history.
julia l parker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Tom F on November 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is Justin Vovk's second effort, his first was a good chronicle of the family of Hapsburg Empress Maria Theresa. His current work expands from Austrian royals of the eighteenth century, to four royal and imperial consorts who had a front row seat to world war and revolution. Two survived the brave new world; two did not.

Vovk focused on Britain's Queen Mary, wife of King George V and grandmother to Elizabeth II; Russia's last czarina, Alexandra of Hesse, wife of Tsar Nicholas II; Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria, wife of Kaiser Wilhelm II; and young Zita of Bourbon-Parma, wife of Austria's last emperor, Karl I.

Of the quartet, the Czarina's story is the most well known through numerous biographies and histories. Then Queen Mary's life was also well chronicled, and her influence on her throne, court, family and zeitgiest still has an impact today as exemplified by her granddaughter's seven decades of service.

The German contingent, Auguste and Zita, are far less known. Vovk shines a light on both, presenting a decent, compassionate portrait of their lives, marriages, families, courts and countries before and after the apocalypse of world war.

Of all the royal figures of that era, the greatest biographical gap is that of the Kaiserin. Granted after a century of destruction and chaos that German militarism and madness inflicted on that extraordinary country, there can't be many direct sources about her life left. What sources remain, Vovk uses admirably to present a portrait of a wife and mother who, though not always likeable, maintained grace and dignity in a marriage to an incredibly difficult and flawed man. She did not survive the war, revolution and exile long - two-and-a-half years.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By M. Mellody on December 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I am interested the background to the First World War and to the decline of the European monarchies. The printed book (I own a copy)is excellent and more than justifies the praise which other reviewers have given it. Unfortunately the Kindle edition - at least as displayed by my Kindle - lacks most of the illustrations and all of the footnotes/endnotes. It is thus impossible to follow the author's arguments or even the flow of the history because much essential information has been lost with the footnotes. The book is, therefore, unusable for serious reading. Had I known this, I certainly wouldn't have bought it.

I feel it is wrong for the publishers of this book not to stated at the beginning of the work that the Kindle edition was incomplete.

That said, the book is relatively inexpensive and may well be worth its modest price for readers who are simply interested in the story.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Nicole M. Daenk on December 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Well researched, fascinting, captivating, read. It doesn't bog down at any point. It gives you not only a fascinting look at thses amazing women and the times that shapped them, but also a pesonal glimpse of their thoughts and feelings of motherhood, wives and the politics of their times. Not a dry or boring read at all. I have never bofore given a book 5 stars. This one absolutely deserves it!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Hughes on May 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is something I have not encountered before--a book for which the Kindle version contains neither footnotes nor illustrations or even a table of contents, much less a bibliography. Other reviewers had said the same thing, but because their reviews were several months old, I assumed--wrongly--that Amazon had corrected this situation. Well, no. This book may or may not be great; it may or may not be well-written and/or comprehensive. But since the Kindle version contains no documentation whatsoever, I don't even know if the typed text is similar to what's contained in the hardcopy book. This is a senseless omission, and I can only assume the reason the Kindle version is so cheap because it is missing the documentation that is expected and necessary in any history book. I wasn't even given the opportunity to return it, so rather than buying the hardcopy book from Amazon I think I'll just go to my local used bookstore and get it there. I mean, can you blame me? I want to know who and what the sources are for this book, and if there's a footnote attached to a page I want to be able to read it. These are integral parts of the manuscript. Next thing you know someone will be saying "oh, chapter 10 has too many words, so we'll leave it out and take a buck off the price." Sheesh!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By SweetOkashi on July 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
A splendid read that carefully examines the hopes, dreams, loves, and loathing that the last empresses of Europe's major powers came to represent in their own lifetimes, and the devotions and decisions that shaped their lives for better or for worse. The author not only carefully chronicles the complex royal family trees (and accompanying royal drama and intrigues) of these four singular women, but also allows readers to get to know Dona, Zita, Mary, Alexandra, and their Imperial spouses on a more personal level by sharing their most candid correspondences and the frank recollections of their contemporaries. Overall, a perfect book for fans of royal history, and also a revealing and personal look at the factors and figures that contributed to WWI, the Russian Revolution, and the downfall of Europe's major monarchies.
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